Financial turmoil in Asia will hit California's economy far harder than the rest of the United States, the chairman and chief executive officer of BankAmerica Corp. predicted.

"What affects the U.S. could affect us doubly," said BankAmerica chairman David Coulter in a recent speech.

The main reason, he added, is that one-half of California's merchandise exports are to Asian countries, compared with a national average of 29%.

Mr. Coulter added that quickly resolving the Asian financial crisis is in the interest of the U.S. economy. He also issued a strong plea to Congress to approve some $18 billion in increased funding for the International Monetary Fund. The IMF, Mr. Coulter emphasized, "is the only institution in a position to mobilize the resources necessary" to help Asian countries resolve their short-term liquidity problems.

Compiled by James R. Kraus

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